Published on: September 29, 2022 at 20:36 IST
On Wednesday, Justice Ravindra Ghuge, who presided over a division bench in Aurangabad, recused himself from hearing a contractor’s appeal against the rejection of his technical proposal to build a ground-plus-ten-story facility for High Court justices in Sneha Nagar, Aurangabad.
Tajuddin Pathan of Baba Construction filed the suit through Advocates Gunratan Sadavarte and Jaishri Patil, alleging malefice against an MLA and a sitting HC judge. However neither has been impleaded as defendants.
Pathan has requested a judicial investigation, the filing of a FIR, and the revocation of the work order recently issued in favour of Wonder Construction in the matter, claiming a Rs. 45 crore fraud.
“That it is brought to your attention how in an epic blatantly opaque manner the bidding procedure which is being conducted by PWD office at Aurangabad division under the supervision of the concerned Superintendent Engineer,” the appeal adds.
According to the appeal, Wonder Construction and another firm, Pride Ventures, were both disqualified for the technical bid.
It claims that, despite a tender requirement to have previously erected a ground +6 storey building, Wonder Construction completed just a ground +5 storey work order, which was also incomplete.
Furthermore, the petitioners claimed that it was listed as Ground +7 stories for the bid.
Pathan said that the Executive Engineer’s office was told of this on July 6, 2022.
Pathan alleged a week earlier, on June 30, 2022, that his technical offer was wrongfully excluded despite meeting all tender standards in a “totally biased and prejudiced way.”
Pathan said that on August 2, he was notified that the bid had been changed from “Technical Evaluation to Technical Bid Opening.”
“Surprisingly after revoking the tender, Ms Baba Construction in the morning hours maliciously later in the day they received disqualifying them but qualifying others.”
The bid process was not halted, according to the petition, despite an order issued by the Secretary of the Public Works Department on July 20, 2022, stating that “all tender processes which were in progress and were not finished are not regarded to be qualified and so delayed.”
It further claims that the Superintendent Engineer was following the directives of the HC court.
The respondents in the PIL include, among others, the Secretary General of the Supreme Court of India, the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court, and the Secretary, PWD, Maharashtra Government.
Following Justice Ghuge’s recusal in the morning, the petition is likely to be heard by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta on the administrative side before being heard by an appropriate bench.